Thanks to all the various Albemarle Plantation contributors on this fun piece!

Life during these “stay at home” and “safer at home” phases has changed the way many of us get things done and use our time. Here are a few reflections from some of our residents about the things they are doing now that they’ve never done before (or hardly ever).

From Barbara Savage: Never have I ever served breaded chicken tenders in this house for dinner. But our two grandsons have been staying with us since the shutdown began, and I swear they would eat them every day. And Buzz is starting to enjoy them, too!

From Buzz and Barbara Savage: Never have we ever spent 10 weeks being home schoolteachers for our grandsons, ages 8 (second grade) and 15 (high school freshman). Because their parents are essential workers who cannot work from home, we have taken on the job of working with them every school day on topics ranging from phonics, to fractions, to world history. We have also been in touch with the boys’ teachers and are delighted to learn that the boys’ grades are improving!

From Patty & Travis Walsh: Never have we ever used technology as a lifeline for us to interact with family members. We used Zoom for the first time, and it was awesome to see our kids in four different screens. We played a game all together! However, the coolest app for our grandchildren has turned out to be Caribu. It allows us to read books and play activities. When we turn the page, it turns the page simultaneously on the child’s screen. Either one of us can pick the book or the activity. Last time, both of us drew on the same page, in different colors! Choices and age levels are endless with Caribu.

• From Annemarie Pomp: Never have I ever spent a lot of time in the pottery studio experimenting with different designs on shallow forms using the sgraffi-to technique, where the form is covered with a contrasting color slip and then the design is drawn or carved through, removing the negative areas.

From Paula FitzPatrick: Never have I ever spent so much time hand-washing and estimating 6 feet. I also have been out taking photos recording the abun-dance of spring blooms. So of course, I am also trying to work with watercolor to paint the endless variety of new subjects in my photos.

From Carol Jennings: Never have I ever spent so much time shredding paper files as I have over the last two months. If my shredder could talk, it would think I have secrets to dispose of or that I’m some government spy! Best of all was getting rid of a big box of papers our son left with us 20 years ago when he moved to California and we moved from NJ to Albemarle NC. He has never looked at them over all these years, but don’t tell him they are gone!

From Claude Milot: Never have I ever asked my wife to give me a haircut. After three months with-out so much as a snip, I was so shaggy I couldn’t keep my hat on in the slightest wind. The new hair style doesn’t look so bad. Maybe we’ve discovered a hidden talent.

From Pat Winter: Never have I ever played a video game. Last Christmas, my nine-year-old grand-son introduced me to the game called “Wordscapes.” This is a single player video game where 6 or 7 letters are presented that the player us-es to make words to fit into a crossword type puzzle. When the “Shut Down” began, we loaded it onto my phone, and I am now addicted! I complete the Daily Puzzle plus games that advance me to higher levels. Now on Level 681, I also play in weekend tournaments.

From Tony Edwards: Never have I ever taken such a long and winding trip down “Memory Lane.” Prompted by my wife to clear file boxes in our storage room, I have discovered priceless news clips, photos, school reports, and magazines. All were collected by my parents over the years when my twin brother and I were together at primary and grammar schools (grade schools) in England be-tween ages 5 through 18. What a wonderful trip it has been!’

From Julia Stapleton: Never have I ever completed a jigsaw puzzle on my own. I’m now on my third 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. While I did jigsaws with family and/or friends a few times in the last century, I’ve never before done one solo – till now. Very relaxing. Takes your mind off all kinds of stress factors by enabling your thoughts to focus on organizing colors and shapes. Going to try a 1,000-piece jigsaw next.